Lebanon is home to one of the most noteworthy Media industries in the Middle East. The Lebanese media sector is highly developed and consists of varied industries including television broadcasting, advertising services, audiovisual production, publishing, music production as well as new emerging markets such as Digital media. The industry is a major contributor to the Lebanese economy.
KEY FACT AND FIGURES:
The Media Industry accounted for nearly 3.75% of Lebanese GDP1 in 2014 and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.8% between 2014 and 20182.
The Media Sector comprises more than 450 companies and employ around 3.25% of the Lebanese labor force1.
Lebanon’s advertising expenditures rank continuously amongst the highest in region with a total spending of USD 174.1 million in 20162.
Digital advertising observed the highest growth for the past few years, rising at a CAGR of 51.2% between 2009 and 2015 and reaching USD 22.7 million2.
The Media Industry spans across several fields: Television Broadcasting, Advertising, Production & Post Production, Digital Media, Publishing and Music.
Lebanon is a source of talent to the entire Arab region that is both highly skilled and cost competitive:
Every year, some 700 students are estimated to graduate with a degree in the media field. Specialized universities and faculties ensure these students are fit to meet the market requirements;
Workers are not only highly skilled with average wages usually 50%-60% lower than in GCC countries. Compared to the Gulf region, the Lebanese workforce is very cost efficient to investors in the field of advertising,
Seven Lebanese universities offer courses in film production or audiovisual arts;
Access to a large Middle Eastern market:
Total household media consumption in the Middle East is considerably higher than in most developed markets, including the US, Japan, and European countries, with an average annual growth rate of 21.5% between 2010 and 20153;
The market continues to be highly promising with a youthful population ensuring a continued rise in demand; 24.65% of the Lebanese population is under the age of 15 and 41.38% falls under the age of 25. Similarly, at the regional level, the Arab world is home to a large youth population, 65% of whom under 302.
Liberal media sector: The country has the most liberal media sector in the Middle East, with minimal to no restrictions on broadcasting and publishing activities. In the MENA region, Lebanon is one out of only three countries to be classified as partially free and it is ranked the second highest in terms of Press Freedom Index.
Diverse geography: Lebanon’s diverse geographic scene is considered very adequate for filming and production, facilitated with the presence of 250 days of sunlight, offering weather conditions and geographic areas adequate for shooting, and with diverse locations.
Adequate legal framework: The Lebanese government has persistently spearheaded efforts to modernize media laws while playing an active role in enforcing intellectual property rights and regulations.
Source: 1 Wipo – How to make a living in the creative industries 2017 2 Arab Media Outlook 2016-2018, 5th edition 3 McKinsey & Company Global Media Report 2016